US kidnap suspect’s brothers swear they were unaware

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Ariel Castro AFP PHOTO

CHICAGO — The brothers of the US man charged with kidnapping and raping three women, locking them in his home for a decade, said they had no idea what was happening, in an interview aired in part on Sunday.

“If I knew that my brother was doing this, I would not be, not — in a minute, I would call the cops because that ain’t right,” Pedro Castro, 54, told CNN.

“If I knew, I would have reported it, brother or no brother,” he added.

Pedro and his youngest brother, 50-year-old Onil, were arrested soon after their brother Ariel Castro on Monday, when the three women, and a daughter born to one of them while in captivity, were discovered at Ariel’s home in Cleveland, Ohio.

But Pedro and Onil were later released, with police saying there was no evidence they participated in the crimes.

In the interview, both said they feared they would never fully be freed of the suspicion raised after police announced their arrest and made their mug shots public.

“It’s going to haunt me down because people going to think, yeah, Pedro got something to do with this. And Pedro don’t have nothing to do with this,” Pedro said.

His brother, Onil, concurred, adding, “The people out there that know me, they know that Onil Castro is not that person and has nothing to do with that. Would never even think of something like that.”

The two, and their 71-year-old mother, are in hiding, saying people have thrown rocks at their homes and sent them death threats over the Internet, CNN reported.

Ariel Castro, a 52-year-old unemployed bus driver, was arrested after one of the victims, 27-year-old Amanda Berry, managed to call out to a neighbor, who kicked in the door to the suspect’s home and rescued her and her six-year-old daughter.

Police arrived on the scene and entered the house, finding two more women: 23-year-old Gina DeJesus and 32-year-old Michelle Knight. All three had been snatched in separate incidents around a decade earlier.

The prosecutor has said investigators would go back over the many torments Castro allegedly inflicted on the women during their long ordeal, with the aim of bringing additional charges, including ones that may carry the death penalty.

Castro was ordered held on an $8 million bond on Thursday.

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